Fruit is fruit, right? No matter how you consume it – sliced, diced, juiced or whole? That’s not entirely true, according to research. Whole fruit is the best way to go for a variety of reasons and we’re sharing them with you today.
Here’s the whole truth about whole fruit:
Reason #1: Whole Fruit Has Tons of Fiber
Fiber is one of the biggest benefits of whole fruit. Fiber is harder to digest and therefore keeps you satisfied for longer, which means you will probably eat less because you feel full. Fiber also binds to waste and helps eliminate it from your body to keep your system clean. As soon as you start chopping up your fruit, you’re doing the job that your stomach and intestines should be doing during digestion. That’s not to say you can’t slice an apple to eat it, but juicing and turning fruit into smoothies takes away some of the fiber advantages as the blades grind it up into liquid. Also, sometimes fruits are peeled before blending, which reduces a lot of the nutrients and fiber.
Reason #2: Whole Fruits Take Longer to Eat
You could probably down a serving of apple juice in less than a minute but eating an entire apple would take more like 10 to 20 minutes. The slower process of eating whole fruit, the fiber in the fruit (often found in the skin) and the additional energy it takes to digest it helps you not only savor it for longer, but also assists your body in registering and regulating the sugar intake. And in general, the impact of the sugar from whole fruit is far less than sugar from juiced fruit or other sugary foods due to fiber and the slower digestive process.
Reason #3: You Eat Less Sugar with Whole Fruit
Think about how much fruit goes into a fruit smoothie. You could easily blend up an entire banana, 5 strawberries, a cup of blueberries and half a mango in one cup of smoothie and slurp it down pretty quickly. That’s a lot of sugar in a small amount of time. And the truth of the matter is you probably wouldn’t eat that much fruit in one sitting so you’re taking in a ton more calories that you really need. By eating the whole fruit, you slow down the eating process and consume less sugar overall.
Reason #4: You Reap the Maximum Nutritive Benefits from Whole Fruit
Whole fruit offers more bioavailable nutrients than blended fruit. As your body slowly digests whole fruit, it can extract the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other healthy natural compounds the fruit has to offer and then put it to good use in the body. Whole fruits have hundreds of health benefits like offering sustainable energy, healing properties, reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar levels and strengthening cells.
There are a whole lot of benefits to eating whole fruit. So go ahead, enjoy that tangy orange, sweet cup of berries and juicy pear just as nature intended.
Sources: WebMD, Mother Nature Network and New York Times